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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Internet Gambling Stung by Feds

Like the "war on drugs", there has been much federal focus on eradicating those ubiquitous illegal gaming sites.  Yesterday, the feds moved against the owners of two of the biggest sites on the web.

Indictments were unsealed by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan against the owners of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.  The feds have seized all their holdings in the United States.

You may recall that back in 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, an anti-gaming law prohibiting banks from processing winnings from internet gambling sites.  PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, among other sites, developed ways around the law, disguising gamblers' payments as sales for jewlery, flowers and other goods.

The U.S. Attorney alleges the schemes amount to bank fraud and money laundering.  The case is complicated by the foreign residence of the primary defendants.  Two of the gambling sites, for example, are located in Ireland.

At least 3 arrests were made, however, in Las Vegas and Utah, while the FBI coordinates with Interpol to secure nearly a dozen other named defendants.

The Internet domains of the main sites have been seized by the FBI with a notice posted on the home pages warning would-be Internet gamblers of possible crimes they could be committing under the United States Code.  Approximately 15-million Americans visit gambling sites on any given day.

Well, looks like this could be the end of Internet gambling in the U.S.

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